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Valentine meets with Papi in Dominican

Valentine meets with Papi in Dominican

Valentine meets with Papi in Dominican
BOSTON -- Less than 24 hours after being unveiled as the manager of the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine jetted to the Dominican Republic to meet with David Ortiz, who is a free agent.

Ortiz is holding his annual charity golf tournament this weekend, and his marketing people sent an invitation to Valentine.

For Valentine, it was not only an opportunity to get to know Ortiz a little better, but also a chance to tell the slugger how much he hopes to be able to manage him in 2012 and beyond.

"I'm sure his signing will affect the money that's available for the bullpen and what we do rounding out the lineup," Valentine told the Boston Herald. "I've never seen our lineup up close and personal, but I've seen his individual talents and he's a game-changer. There's 30 teams that would want David Ortiz in the lineup, and we're one of them. And I'm one of the guys that definitely would like to have him there."

Bobby Valentine
Bobby V hits Beantown

Known for his energy, Valentine displayed it once again by taking a trip to the DR after a week that already included a trip to Japan, then his unveiling in Boston. Valentine will also join Boston's front office at the Winter Meetings in Dallas, which take place Dec. 5-8.

"I got an invitation from David's foundation's marketing man to come to David's event, and I wouldn't miss it," Valentine said. "I was able to catch a plane, come on down, have a little fun tonight, and say hello and tell him how much I love him as a player. I only respect him and know him from afar. Getting to know him is going to be fun."

Judging by pictures that were posted on Ortiz's official twitter account -- @davidortiz -- the DH seemed to be having a grand time with Valentine.

An additional bonus for Valentine was the chance to have a lengthy conversation with basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell at Ortiz's event.

"Wow," Valentine told the Herald. "That was a bonus."

The Red Sox have stated numerous times they'd like to re-sign Ortiz. The DH has until midnight at the end of Wednesday to accept the club's offer of arbitration. If he does so, Ortiz would be bound to the Red Sox for a one-year deal that would give him a raise from the $12.5 million he made in 2011.

Ortiz's preference is long-term security.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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